Tuesday, October 6, 2015

591: What's the Continent doing?...

Let’s make a list of names:
Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679) - John Locke (1632–1704) - -David Hume       (1711 –  1776)
René Descartes (1596 – 1650)  - Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646 – 1716) - Baruch Spinoza (1632 – 1677) 
Great names that dominated  the philosophical landscape of the period between 1600 and 1790, but from two different worlds.
As we have seen, England became the country of the free political individual with natural rights, among which the right to overthrow a government if necessary.
It  also became the cradle of empiricism, as we know it today, while the Continent was in the grip of Cartesian dualism and rationalism.
There may be an explanation for the developments of the philosophical ideas about the individual in relation to society in England.
During his reign Henry VIII broke with Rome to secure an annulment from Catherine of Aragon in the 1530s.
This was the beginning of the  end of the domination and control of the pope in matters of the church.
The end is that Locke is able to say that the individual is guided by natural law and that any coercion by churches is unacceptable with regard to the freedom of the individual.
The Continent however was still under control of the Church, either protestant or catholic. And we see this in the philosophical ideas about the individual.
Instead of the social and political ideas like we saw emerge in England, on the Continent they are seriously related to theological considerations.
For Descartes it was most important that, although he only discovered his mind as his only certainty, he kept a connection with god..
When we look at Leibniz, according to his ideas this connection goes much further.
On the question of freedom, Leibniz is a determinist. He sees no incompatibility between freedom and a certain special kind of determinism.
According to him it is mistaken to object to determinism as such: what matters is the nature of the ultimate and active powers that do the determining. 
On his view, these ultimate and active powers are the wisdom and moral perfections of God, joined with God’s greatness (power and omniscience).
Ideas about the individual like those of Locke are totally wasted on Leibniz. Although he is known as a philosopher, I regard his ideas about the individual as theology.
But this is the philosophical picture of the Continent in those days. Take this idea of Leibniz about god in relation to the individual.
If the complete concept of any being, such as a human being, is known for all time by god, and was chosen by god for existence, then is such a being free?
And another thing troubled Leibniz. Suppose this human being committed evil. If god is supremely good, 
and the creator of the best possible universe, then why is there so much pain and sin in the world?
We could spend hours on discussing Leibniz problem, which he created himself by admitting a divine creator into his philosophy,
but what we can conclude at least is, that in those days the individual on the Continent was still subordinated to religion.
Thank you…if you have remarks or questions, feel free…the floor is yours…

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995

The Discussion

[13:15] herman Bergson: oops....was it too fast?
[13:15] Dag (daggash.bayn): yes lol
[13:15] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well if he had faith it would be in his philosophy
[13:16] herman Bergson: open your chat window and reread...:-)
[13:16] Daruma Boa: ja, thats better^^
[13:16] CB Axel: Did Leibniz ever reconcile his problem with evil coming from a good god?
[13:16] Bejiita Imako: basically England was before rest of europe to break free from church control if I get this right
[13:16] herman Bergson: If you have soem faith and derive soem truths form it, you are a theologian, Gemma :-)
[13:17] herman Bergson: No CB.....
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not a philosopher theologian??
[13:17] herman Bergson: That is a contradiction, in my view gemma
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): philosopher -theologian
[13:17] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in your view :-)
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not in theirs
[13:18] herman Bergson: The philosopher begins with wondering and questions.
[13:18] herman Bergson: A theologian begins with answers...
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well i think so do the theoplgians
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oops
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): theologians
[13:19] herman Bergson: A philosopher asks what is the meaning of life...
[13:19] herman Bergson: a theologian tells you what is the meaning of life
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:19] Daruma Boa: *GIGGLES* :)~~~~
[13:19] herman Bergson: well...according to his religion
[13:19] Daruma Boa: and his experiences.
[13:19] herman Bergson: God or Allah for instance
[13:20] herman Bergson: And a man like Leibniz didn’t make this clear distinction....
[13:21] herman Bergson: The existence of a creator, a god, was not  in debate...it was an axiom
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:21] CB Axel: Richard Feynman once said, I'd rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned. °͜°
[13:21] herman Bergson: which  of course created his ohter philosophical problems...especially related to evil
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): great quote
[13:21] herman Bergson: nice one CB :-))
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: I agreee with that
[13:22] CB Axel: God is a spanner in the old philosophy machine. That's for sure.
[13:22] herman Bergson: What is a spanner, CB?
[13:22] CB Axel: Wrench.
[13:22] herman Bergson: ok :-)
[13:22] CB Axel: Sorry. I've been speaking English rather than American a lot lately.
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: throw a wrench in the gearbox sort of
[13:23] CB Axel: Yes.
[13:23] herman Bergson: The interesting thing is that men like Locke and Hume  didnt pay much attention to god in their philosophy
[13:23] CB Axel: Not paying attention to God helps a lot of things.
[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes...produced the basic ideas of democracy to begin with
[13:24] Daruma Boa: there is and was no god as a lot scientist say. so.
[13:24] herman Bergson: As Locke said...no power on earth is derived from god...it is based on a social contract
[13:24] bijoux Lefevre is offline.
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: I take my knowledge not from god but from CERN and their LHC machine plus NASA
[13:25] herman Bergson: Well Daruma...click on that map behind me....
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: seems much better since they try figure out how things REALLY work
[13:25] Daruma Boa: and i find godß
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: if LHC or NASA see god i finally will believe in it
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah yes the report
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is very interesting
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: but i doubt they will, its not logical
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: supernatural stuff and beings
[[13:26] herman Bergson: Then you'll learn that on this globe at least 90% of the people subordinate their person to a god
[13:26] herman Bergson: The report is horrifying....
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: people need really to wake up then
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita....
[13:27] Daruma Boa: i think everyone of us is a kind of god. we all have more power than we can imagine, cos until now we did not find it out.
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: THERE IS NO GOD! only science
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: only science can tell how the world really works and why we exist
[13:27] herman Bergson: I disagree Daruma...:-)
[13:27] Daruma Boa: mh but science has also his problems
[13:28] Daruma Boa: and that not to less...
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: science is tricky business indeed
[13:28] Daruma Boa: why herman?
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): lots of questions in science too
[13:28] herman Bergson: Locke was already quite clear about the power of the individual:-)
[13:28] Daruma Boa: are humans already at their limits?
[13:28] herman Bergson: no no...
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i thinkk not
[13:28] herman Bergson: Because we know of darwin and evolution doesnt mean we ar ethe end of evolution:-)
[13:29] herman Bergson: But Locke already showed us where we were gods...
[13:29] Daruma Boa: isn’t darwin already old stuff and not up to date?
[13:30] herman Bergson: the right  to life, liberty health and possessions alse meant the duty not to steal, kill take care of the other and share...
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well darwin started teh discussion well
[13:30] Daruma Boa: ja true herman
[13:30] herman Bergson: In what sense is Darwin old stuff, Daruma?
[13:31] Daruma Boa: i sent u a few months ago a you tube video about that. must have a look at it to find it.
[13:31] herman Bergson: ahh...ok
[13:32] herman Bergson: I missed it or forgot..:-(
[13:32] herman Bergson: So if you find it again...:-)
[13:32] herman Bergson: Anyway...what I wanted to make clear today ....
[13:33] herman Bergson: is the difference in development of philosophical ideas
[13:33] herman Bergson: in England and on the Continent
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): interesting
[13:33] herman Bergson: Yes...
[13:34] herman Bergson: where England showed signs of liberal thinking, the continental philosophers were still burdened by theological issues
[13:34] herman Bergson: I think it is interesting....
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:35] herman Bergson: Guess you could write a book on explaining this phenomenon
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: England was way before it seems
[13:35] Dag (daggash.bayn): now the question is , was it a coincidence or was there some other ground for that
[13:35] herman Bergson: what, Dag?
[13:35] herman Bergson: This difference?
[13:35] Dag (daggash.bayn): yes
[13:36] herman Bergson: Well..I already suggested some explanation...
[13:36] Dag (daggash.bayn): you said it was because of the detachement from the church
[13:36] herman Bergson: The church of England was a matter of internal government...
[13:36] herman Bergson: yes
[13:36] CB Axel: It seems to me, although I may be wrong, that it's the opposite today and that England is clinging to theology more than the continent.
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[13:36] herman Bergson: I don't know, CB...
[13:37] herman Bergson: What makes you think that?
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: aaaa they are just busy playing golf
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:37] Daruma Boa: I found it, the video about darwin
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): :-)
[13:37] CB Axel: I seem to recall a study that shows that England is more religious than Europe.
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there are a bunch of them daruma
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): which one?
[13:38] herman Bergson: ah ok Daruma
[13:38] Daruma Boa: na but from an german scientist
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in german?
[13:38] herman Bergson: no problem
[13:38] bijoux Lefevre is offline.
[13:38] herman Bergson: Ich verstehe auch Deutsch :-))
[13:38] Daruma Boa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=4&v=ZH9ZTq6FAyY
[13:38] Daruma Boa: ;-)
[13:38] herman Bergson: cool
[13:38] herman Bergson: But back to business :-)
[13:39] Daruma Boa: ok;-)
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh dear
[13:39] herman Bergson: England more religious than the continent...
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: hmm interesting
[13:39] herman Bergson: I think that doesn’t say a thing....
[13:39] herman Bergson: If I ask you...are you religious and you say yes...I still don't know a thing
[13:40] CB Axel: I think they asked about belief in God.
[13:40] herman Bergson: all these researches...how were terms defined....explained....and so on...
[13:40] herman Bergson: even that...
[13:40] herman Bergson: ok..belief in god...
[13:41] herman Bergson: but what kind of god...
[13:41] herman Bergson: one who interferes with individual lives?
[13:41] herman Bergson: or one who just created us and said ...you're on your own now?
[13:42] herman Bergson: or a god who just does what pleases him/her? :-)
[13:42] CB Axel: I'm not sure. Many, like in the US, said they believed in God but didn't necessarily attend church services.
[13:42] Dag (daggash.bayn): its only in our time that we came to the separation of church and state...in the west at least
[13:42] CB Axel: So maybe more spiritual than religious.
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: maybe
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes an important issue Dag....
[13:43] herman Bergson: This idea was established in the days of Locke...
[13:43] CB Axel: We still don't have separation between church and state here in the US as much as I feel we should. :(
[13:43] herman Bergson: in England....
[13:44] herman Bergson: but not on the continent...
[13:44] herman Bergson: However...head of the church in England was the king/queen....yet
[13:44] Dag (daggash.bayn): I mean its established by law CB, not that everyone accepts it
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whispers: head of the church
[13:44] herman Bergson: That is the big difference with the Islamic world, Dag....
[13:45] Dag (daggash.bayn): I know
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: indeed US is way too religious, they are as religious as they are in middle east, only different religion
[13:45] herman Bergson: that is why they don't understand liberal democracy as we do understand it
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not necessarily
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: and how they let law and religion mix in both cases
[13:45] CB Axel: I agree, Bejiita. Although we still have fewer beheadings.
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: thats where problems always starts
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: thats true hehe
[13:45] Daruma Boa: ah bejita i guess they only think they are;-) its only a way to keep everyone under control
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): more shootings
[13:46] Daruma Boa: has not really something to do with beeing a believer
[13:46] herman Bergson: yes...when beheaded you'll have difficulty to think indeed
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: its not that horrifying indeed but still letting religion and power mix is never good
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no it is not good
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: main mantra in USA is In god we trust
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: that tells everything
[13:46] Daruma Boa: ja but only written
[13:47] herman Bergson: indeed Daruma...
[13:47] CB Axel: Which only became a motto in the US during the cold war.
[13:47] herman Bergson: The real mantra is...In Money we trust
[13:47] Daruma Boa: yea herman^^^
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very true at this point!
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: well i guess u could say that
[13:47] CB Axel: Exactly, Herman.
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: or in greed we trust
[13:47] Daruma Boa: we follow the wrong gods these days
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): money is running  all thought here
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: very true
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: big problem
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): big money
[13:48] Daruma Boa: and money has no power. as we / they think
[13:48] herman Bergson: ok...far away enough from  our subject now :-))
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true yes
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:48] herman Bergson: so time to end our discussion :-))
[13:48] Daruma Boa: och herman^^
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: so then I push BEAM DUMP button and ramp down
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope i can make it on tuesday but they are a problem again this year
[13:48] herman Bergson: Thank you all again for your participation.....
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:48] Daruma Boa claps
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: this was nice
[13:49] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-)
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: cu tuesday then
[[13:49] Dag (daggash.bayn): thank you herman
[13:49] Guestboook van tipjar stand: CB Axel donated L$100. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:49] Daruma Boa: ja thank u also
[13:49] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:49] bergfrau Apfelbaum: good night Daruma
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok bye for now
[13:49] herman Bergson: It was a pleasure....:-)
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: bye
[13:49] Bejiita Imako:
[13:49] Daruma Boa: see u tuesday
[13:49] bergfrau Apfelbaum: and Gemma:-)
[[13:49] CB Axel: I love your sweater, bergfrau.
[13:49] Daruma Boa waves
[13:49] CB Axel: I had one similar to that when I was a child.
[13:49] CB Axel: It was my favorite.
[13:49] bergfrau Apfelbaum: hehe :-) it is warm
[13:50] Dag (daggash.bayn): goodbye all
[13:50] bergfrau Apfelbaum: byebye Dag:-)
[13:50] herman Bergson: Bye dag :-)
[13:50] CB Axel: Good bye until Tuesday.

[13:50] bergfrau Apfelbaum: yes :-) @ tuesday

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